As promised, here’s a little about how we decided to get married when we did, and what it was like getting married young (I was 18, my husband 19 by about a week!)
We always knew that the ultimate aim of our relationship was to get married- we started going out when we were 16, and after three months we had talked about the fact that one day we wanted to marry each other. Both of us were committed to our relationship and to each other- and we wanted to honour God in the way we handled our relationship.
We got officially engaged in December 2010, when I was 17, Josh 18. We were in our last year of sixth form, and almost straight away people started asking when we were going to get married, which flummoxed me a bit, as we still had to work that all out! We had applied to the same universities (we made a list of which ones did both courses and narrowed it down really easily) for 2009/10 but knew that we could defer a year.
Eventually, after a lot of talking to people at church and thinking about our own hopes and expectations, we decided to get married the next September, about 9 months after we got engaged. This would be a few months after our A levels finished, and then we took the next year out of education, deferring university until 2010/11.
Frankly, waiting three or four years until after university to get married wasn’t an option- we were too impatient to get married! It would have driven us both completely nuts. That left the options of getting married during university or before, and before seemed the better option. At least that way, and with a year out, we would have time to adjust to getting married, have some time to settle into life together before having another major life change. Especially being young, having that time was wise. We wanted to get married at the start of our year out because with Josh having a placement in York, we didn’t want to try to plan a wedding long distance, adding even more complication!
As for being young- it was definitely different, but nice not to be one of a long line of people getting married. We were doing what we knew was right, at the right time for us. We didn’t see the point in waiting two, four, six more years to spend the rest of our lives together, when we already knew that was what would happen! Other people need more time before getting married- every relationship is different, there isn’t a timeline which you should fit into. It was definitely a different choice to other people our age- most of our friends were going to university or having gap years in exciting countries. I guess people were surprised with how young we were, which we understood, but our families, church friends and school friends were all supportive, many people being involved in various ways.
So, after going out for two and a half years, we got married in September 2009. We immediately moved to York (Josh had been there for a couple of weeks on his own) and settled into married life there. I’m so glad we got married when we did, and that I’ve got the chance to grow and learn with my husband, my best friend by my side for the rest of my life. It was the right thing and the right time for us.